Item #007896 An original Second World War Official U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph of Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signing the Instrument of Surrender on 2 September 1945 on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, with MacArthur's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Richard K Sutherland, looking on and a host of senior American commanders in the background
An original Second World War Official U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph of Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signing the Instrument of Surrender on 2 September 1945 on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, with MacArthur's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Richard K Sutherland, looking on and a host of senior American commanders in the background

An original Second World War Official U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph of Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signing the Instrument of Surrender on 2 September 1945 on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, with MacArthur's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Richard K Sutherland, looking on and a host of senior American commanders in the background

Tokyo Bay, Japan: United States Navy, 1945. Photograph. This is an original Second World War U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph of Japanese Foreign Minister Shigemitsu signing the Instrument of Surrender on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay a few minutes after 9:00 AM on 2 September 1945. Assisting Shigemitsu is Japanese Foreign Ministry representative Toshikazu Kase. From across the table, Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland, who served as Chief of staff to General Douglas MacArthur in the South West Pacific Area during the war, looks on.

The gelatin silver print measures 10.25 x 8 inches (26 x 20.3 cm). Condition is very good, the paper complete and the image clean, with only minor scratches visible under raking light, and light wear confined to the white border. The verso features a four-line ink stamp reading “U. S. ARMY SIGNAL CORPS PHOTOS | ANTHONY F. WIN | 2439 NORTH FRANCISCO AVE. | CHICAGO 47, ILLINOIS”. Blue ink notation in the lower left white margin reads “Kenny Halsey” indicating U.S. Army General George C. Kenney, commander of Allied Air Forces in the South West Pacific Area (visible immediately to the left of Sutherland) and Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey, one of only four officers to attain the rank of five-star fleet admiral of the U.S. Navy. The Missouri was the flagship of Halsey’s Third Fleet. These two are among the rows of officers visible in the background, present to witness the formal surrender of Japan. The image is protected within a clear, archival sleeve.

After the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 12 April 1945, it fell to his Vice President, Harry S. Truman, to lead the United States through the end of the Second World War, including the decision to detonate atomic bombs over the Japanese Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945, compelling the Japanese Empire to accept the inevitability of defeat and the necessity of unconditional surrender.

On 2 September 1945, Instrument of Surrender was signed by Japanese aboard the USS Missouri – the last battleship ever built by the United States – in Tokyo Bay. Prepared by the War Department and approved by President Harry S. Truman, the Instrument of Surrender set out in eight short paragraphs the complete capitulation of Japan. The opening words, “We acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government, and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept…” signified the importance attached to the Emperor’s role and the necessity of acceptance by both civil and military authority by the Americans who drafted the document. The second short paragraph made the unequivocal nature of the capitulation clear: “We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.” Japanese envoys Foreign Minster Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu signed their names. The time was recorded as 4 minutes past 9 o’clock. Thereafter, General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, also signed. He accepted the Japanese Surrender “for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.”

On 6 September, Army Colonel Bernard Thielen brought the surrender document and a second imperial rescript back to Washington, D.C. The following day, Thielen presented the documents to President Truman in a formal White House ceremony. The documents were then exhibited at the National Archives before being formally received into the National Archives holdings. Item #007896

Price: $300.00

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